Mass Effect 2

The thing about exclusivity in the video gaming world is that some people are denied the pleasure of games. Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to play Mass Effect when it first came out, but you owned a PS3. Well, you’d be buggered, pretty much. Mass Effect was released by Microsoft, originally, and it was only released for the Xbox 360, and PC a little while later.

This is one of the things that make third party publishers so cool. First party stuff is always going to be exclusive.

Sony won’t release a game for the Xbox 360, much like Microsoft won’t do so for the PS3. But third party publishers generally throw their nets wide, covering as much of the market as they can. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when Mass Effect 2 came out for Xbox 360 and not the PS3 early last year.

See, developers BioWare were distributing through Electronic Arts at that point… one of the bigger third party distributors.

The matter has been remedied, though, with the release of Mass Effect 2 for PlayStation 3. And, as an added bonus, a number of the DLC missions that were available for download by Xbox owners have been included in the PS3 version. Now PlayStation adherents can also enjoy the powerful, emotionally charged story and massive, diverse universe that is Mass Effect 2 (even though they still won’t be able to get the first, still Xbox 360 exclusive game).

The game is pretty much exactly like the Xbox version, save for the added DLC. It tells the continuing story of Commander Shepard and his faithful crew, who must take on a new (very old) threat to the galaxy, in the form of the Reapers and Collectors, two nefarious alien races bent on destroying everything they come across.

Shepard needs to put together a crack team to take them on, which is where a lot of the meat of the story comes in. And it is a long game, without a doubt… even without the added six hours (or more) that the included DLC packs provide. Much of the player’s time is obviously taken up by the main story, but side quests also abound in this game. And, even better, the player has an almost free reign to trot around the galaxy and collect resources, to improve upon their equipment. Even if there is a lot to do in the game, is it worth replaying? Well, let’s answer it like this: is the sky blue?

Mass Effect 2 is one of the brightest stars in the BioWare galaxy, which has a number of really sparkly things in it already. If you haven’t played it, and you enjoy a good action RPG, don’t even think twice about rushing off to buy it. Even if you have played it, it’s worthwhile to reexperience Shepard’s tale, and live through some of the great DLC missions.

The only real problem, of course, with this PS3 release is that the Xbox gamers out there still have the jump on everyone else. Yes, there are added extras in this title, but it’s a year after the Xbox 360 release. In fact, that particular platform will be seeing Mass Effect 3 arriving not too long from now, which may leave a bit of a sour taste in PS3 owner’s mouths. Hopefully it won’t be a year before the release of Mass Effect 3 on PlayStation 3, but time will tell on that one.

Either way, it’s a great game, whether you have played it before or not. The graphics are excellent, the game dynamics are smooth, and the story is superb. The big plus of the added content makes it even better.

At A Glance

It’s a great game, even if it is a year late. But there’s added content to make up for that…

Developer: BioWare

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Distributor: EA South Africa

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